La Vera Cucina

Bagna Cauda

In this portion of La Trattoria, we feature family recipes shared by our restaurateur readers. As we head into autumn, I thought you might enjoy hearing one of our family’s holiday food traditions.

In early December each year, we would celebrate my cousins Robert and Luanne Solari’s birthdays with a Bagna Cauda feast prepared by their mother, Anna Cortopassi Solari. We enjoyed the meal in the garage (equipped with space heaters) rather than in the house to fit the large group and to keep the strong garlic aroma from permeating the entire house! Every December 9th when I wish Robert a happy birthday, my memory brings me back to all of those hearty, enjoyable meals! – Tom Cortopassi

P.S. If you really LOVE garlic, try Bagna Cauda Costamagna Style (see below).


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, slivered
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 can anchovy fillets (2 ounces)
  • assorted fresh vegetables cut for dipping crusty Italian bread for eating


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden. Add remaining oil and butter. Add anchovies; stir over low heat until everything blends together (about 15 to 20 minutes). Serve hot with assorted finger food sized vegetables for dipping with crusty Italian bread for eating. Favorites include garlic, radicchio, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, curly cabbage, mushrooms, and small parboiled red potatoes.

Bagna Cauda Costamagna Style: Increase garlic to ½ cup slivered garlic cloves; increase anchovies to 3 ounces. Stir in 2 tablespoons whipping cream shortly before serving.